PHI101_71013_Lecture20_Nov17

PHI101_71013_Lecture20_Nov17 - PHI101(71013)...

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PHI 101 (71013) Dr. Tuomas Manninen ASU-West Peter Van Inwagen “The Wider Teleological Argument” November 17, 2009
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Van Inwagen - biography Peter Van Inwagen is a contemporary philosopher at the University of Notre Dame. In this article he presents what is referred to as the “fine-tuning” version of the teleological argument.
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The basic argument Given the immense improbabilities that contemporary physics tells us were necessary in order to have a Universe that sustains life, it is reasonable to believe that some intelligent mind adjusted the Universe in order to get the precise numbers necessary at the Big Bang to allow for organic and intelligent life. Given what we now know, “it appears that if the cosmos were much different at all, there would be no life (and therefore no rational animals)” (173).
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Variants of the argument The ‘wider teleological argument’ is also referred to as the ‘anthropic principle,’ formulated by physicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler in two ways: Weak Anthropic Principle: “The observed values of all physical and cosmological quantities are not equally probable but they take on values restricted by the requirement that there exist sites where carbon-based life can evolve and by the requirements that the Universe be old enough for it to have already done so.” Strong Anthropic Principle: “he Universe must have those properties which allow life to develop within it at some stage in its history.” Source: Barrow and Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological  Principle  (London: Oxford University Press, 1986), p.16, p.21,
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The cosmos-making machine Suppose there is a machine designed to produce cosmoi. The machine has a number of dials in it, each representing some overall feature of the cosmos to be produced. Modern physics and cosmology seems to support statements like “The pointer on dial 18 is set at . 0089578346198711. If it had not been set at some value between . 0089578346198709 and . 0089578346198712, there would be no
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The “Goldilocks range” On the Standard Model of particle physics, which describes the fundamental forces and fundamental particles, there are 25 fundamental constant values. According to Martin Rees, a British astrophysicist, the number of constants is six (most describing a ratio between the fundamental forces). There is a so-called “Goldilocks range” for these values: this range is “just right” for life to emerge (Dawkins)
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Van Inwagen’s argument Van Inwagen admits the shortcomings of the teleological argument, especially in light of the Darwinian account of evolution. But what about the Universe as a whole? Darwin’s theory does not apply here: it can
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2010 for the course PHI PHI 101 taught by Professor Delvin during the Fall '10 term at ASU.

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PHI101_71013_Lecture20_Nov17 - PHI101(71013)...

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